The novel & Frankenstein Essay
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How does Shelley create sympathy for the Monster, as well as for Victor Frankenstein, in the novel, ‘Frankenstein’? Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, born 30th August 1797 was the anonymous writer who was idolised over due to her novel, ‘Frankenstein’. She was a literary icon in the romanticism era in the early 1800s. The globally famous novel was published in 1818 when Shelly was at the age of 21. Shelley decided to submit her novel anonymously as in that stage in history women were not taken seriously in society and were victims of sexist and prejudiced movements.
The novel was originally a ghost story in which she wrote while being overwhelmed by a series of calamities in her life; the worst of these were the suicide of her half-sister, Fanny Imlay. Frankenstein is considered to be the greatest gothic romantic novel in history and also thought of as the first science fiction novel. Gothic horror was a common genre of use in the time Frankenstein was written. This was a time of great novels such as Dracula and Hound of the Baskervilles. Gothic horror is traditionally set in dark castles and countryside with eerie moaning music and bad weather.
Written in 1818, Frankenstein is the deeply disturbing tale of a monstrous unnamed creation that was created in the name of science. Huge and strong, the creature, created by Victor Frankenstein kills and murders many throughout the tale, but considering his tragic beginnings, I must ask, who is the real monster in this gothic tale of horror? Frankenstein is cleverly written in two parts. The first part of the book is narrated from Frankenstein’s point of view as he relates his story to a ship’s captain.
The second part of the story is the monster telling Victor how he came to find him and what had happened to him since he was abandoned. This technique cleverly allows the reader to see both sides of the story and judge who the real monster is. In chapter five of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the creature is given life. The opening paragraph makes excellent use of pathetic fallacy, using the weather to set the scene. The first lines of the chapter, “it was a dreary night in November”, and “the rain pattered dismally against the windowpanes”, make obvious use of traditional gothic horror scenery.